Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Wanting it both ways

The chareidi world, as noted a couple of posts ago, believes in the concept of Daas Torah, that is that their leaders, through knowledge and piety, have attained a certain level of Ruach haKodesh which allows their to unerringly make the right decisions for their followers.

One recalls a couple of month ago, this Daas Torah resulted in the cancellation of a large concert in Yerushalayim. The decree was signed by the leaders of the Chareidi community and implied that these concerts were damaging to the souls of their followers.

This was after the organizers had arranged separate seating in the stadium, separate entrances for men and women, and separate busees to bring the patrons to the concerts so there would be absolutely no mixing. Despite these precautions, the Gedolim still felt that the concert was an occasion for peritzus. The Chareidi community's response seems to have been "Well, okay, they're the Gedolim and if we don't understand their reasons, it's because of our limitations." Everyone else's response seems to have been "Huh?"

But then a piece was published on Cross Currents that seems to have an answer to why the concerts were banned. It seems:

Today, too, we have self proclaimed agitators and charlatans who have nothing to do with their time but to go around to our leading Torah sages and try to convince them that separate-seating concerts are a threat to our Yiddishkeit and to ban them. They falsely claim that there is pritzus in the hallways plus other fabrications.

Ah, now things are starting to make sense. The Gedolim, not knowing the full details, were provided with the wrong information by a group of self-righteous do-gooders who opposed the concert who felt their opinions trump everyone else's. They fed the wrong information to their leaders who then issued their decree based on this misinformation.

Then, why does the writer conclude thusly:

In the final analysis, gedolim are our einei ha-edah, and important issues must be brought to them. We must be prepared to do things that are not comfortable when allegiance to their authority demands it.

Back in the day when I was first learning how to use computers, I was taught a basic principle in programming: GIGO - Garbage In = Garbage Out. If the Gedolim of the Chareidi community are being given the wrong information, how can an intelligent person follow their p'sak? As one of the comments to that post went:

If the statements of the gedolim are based on false premises, why should they be followed? (assuming that gedolim themselves wouldn’t want incorrect opinions to be followed)
But if the statements of the gedolim are not based on false premises, what are the “agitators” doing wrong?

In the end, how can someone not see the problem in this situation? And why is no one telling the Gedolim that this is happening? Or have they already decreed that this is impossible?

1 comment:

Ahavah B. said...

By that same logic, shul should be banned, because people coming in and out of the building might see or talk to each other in the parking lot or sidewalk. It's idiotic in the extreme. It won't be long until they start considering burkhas to be a good idea.